It’s that sad time of the year for a lot of people. Winter. Darkness and cold. Ice and (ack) holiday shopping. Time to go through all your stuff, treat it and put it away for the long winter. Even if you’re going to keep fishing, you’ll likely be doing it a little less and maybe not using every piece of gear like you might during the three better seasons. So here are some tips collected to make sure you didn’t forget all the stuff sitting in your closet. Or the trunk of your car. Or in your friend’s garage.
Field and Stream has a good tip on storing fly lines for the winter. The basic idea: clean them, dry them and store them uncoiled and off of the reels. They suggest making some long wraps around a coat hanger and hanging them up in a closet. Good advice since having your line coiled all winter is going to slowly make it set and become harder to completely uncoil as time goes by. There are plenty of good tips about cleaning your fly line, which should be done no less frequently than weekly when you’re fishing a lot. Take it off the reel, soak it in lukewarm water with mild soap, rinse and dry and treat it with some line dressing.
MidCurrent has an article about various things to do when storing gear including your fly rod, reel, lines, waders and flies for the winter. Short version: clean everything and let it dry dry DRY well.
Murray’s Fly Shop has a few posts, including how to winterize a fly rod, cleaning, drying and storing fly reels and putting your flies away for the winter.
Another good tip in addition to cleaning, drying and lubricating things where necessary is to back off the drag on your reels when storing them for extended periods. Some people will disagree with this and other tips to be nice to your reels, but mechanical stuff does benefit from some care even if it’s indestructible according to many.
A little attention will make your gear last and last. Get to it now!
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